Washington DC Biosketches Class of 2018

Lia Allen

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I have lived and studied in Florida my whole life. I received my BS from UCF in biology and my MS from USF in biomedical sciences. As I continued my education, I shadowed several specialties, volunteered in hospital units, worked in the ER, and assisted with medical research. During these experiences, I learned about all of the possible roles in the medical field, including about the anesthesiologist assistant profession. The idea of specializing in anesthesia while still being able to see a variety of procedures was something that greatly interested me. I have always loved living in Florida, but the chance to live in the nation’s capital and study a profession that is both rewarding and challenging was an opportunity I could not pass up!

Marilyn Archambeault

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Robert Brossart

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I was born and raised in a small town in Colorado. I earned my BS in business administration from Colorado State University, where I went on to get my MBA in healthcare administration from Regis University. I had an inclination that I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, but was uncertain on what direction to take. I decided to go back to school to complete my pre-requisite courses in order to enter a Physician Assistant program. As I was completing my education, I started working in the operating room at the Children’s Hospital in Colorado as an Anesthesia Technician. This is the first experience I had with the Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant profession. I had previously heard about the nurse anesthetist (CRNA) profession, but this specialty was completely new and it was an eye-opening experience. After a lot of research into this profession and shadowing multiple anesthetists, I knew I had found my calling. I am very excited and honored to be apart of CWRU DC’s Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant Class of 2018!

Samantha Dillon

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When I was in high school, I was one of the few students that enjoyed chemistry. My teacher encouraged those of us who did well in the class to pursue anesthesiology as a career. At the time it sounded like a good fit for me and my talents and passions, but I was concerned about how much schooling and time it would take to get there. Despite my reservations, I began the journey into my medical field career, and went to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. I chose biomedical sciences as my major, and I kept my options open for a future career path. During the first year of my undergraduate studies, I began having health and medical problems of my own. After receiving a diagnosis, I was scheduled for an endoscopy. As I was preparing for the surgery, I met an anesthesiologist and told him about my studies at the University. He asked if I had ever considered becoming an Anesthesiologist Assistant. I now know that CAAs cannot practice in Virginia, so I had never heard of an Anesthesiologist Assistant before, but I was intrigued. After doing some research, I learned about Case Western Reserve University and the MSA program. As I investigated more about the program and courses offered, I decided that this was the right path that would prepare me with the knowledge and experience I needed to begin my career as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant.

Adam Edwards

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I am from Winfield, OH. I graduated from Walsh University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. I had always enjoyed learning about medicine throughout college, and through shadowing, I developed a desire to pursue anesthesia. With this desire to have a career in medicine, I also wanted free time in my life to pursue other passions. I decided that earning a MS in anesthesia was the right fit for me, and I have not looked back since.

Andrew Eun

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During my undergraduate studies, I unearthed a genuine passion for learning about the human body and health. I pursued my BS in neurobiology and physiology from the University of Maryland under the assumption that I would one day attend medical school. However, after some life-changing events and realizations, I decided not to apply to medical school and eventually ended up working in pharmaceutical sales. My dissatisfaction with the work led to a fateful Internet search where I first found out about the anesthesiologist assistant profession. I was immediately intrigued because the profession would enable me to apply my pre-med studies and my passion for human health in a more meaningful way. After shadowing some of the high caliber CAAs at Washington Hospital Center, who were all graduates of the CWRU MSA program, I knew that this would be the perfect place for me to begin my journey in becoming a CAA. Because I grew up in Northern Virginia, I am especially grateful to be a part of CWRU’s DC program. I look forward to the challenges and the rewards that are ahead.

Mason Fisher

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I am from a small town in northern Michigan. I received my BS in biology always knowing that I wanted to make a difference in the medical field. I had a keen interest in anesthesia after meeting different anesthesiologists due to multiple sports injuries needing surgical treatment. I started shadowing an ophthalmologist during my undergraduate studies who introduced me to the MSA program at CWRU. I looked into what CWRU offered and my interests were captivated. My lifelong goal is to be able to help others in the medical field, with special attention to medical mission trips. With this degree I hope to continue missionary work after graduate school, specifically for anesthesia. I am excited to join Case Western Reserve University's MSA community and to see what the future holds in store for our class!

Galan Jones

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I am from Elyria, OH. I attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, where I received my BA in biology with a minor in chemistry. Since graduation, I have been working as a long-term substitute teacher at a local elementary school. I began college wanting to be a physician and completed a pre-med curriculum. At the end of my freshman year, I began shadowing multiple physicians, and found it wasn’t the right path for me. I immediately began searching Case Western Reserve’s website for other health-related careers and stumbled across the CAA webpage. Every CAA I shadowed had many positive things to say about the CAA profession. I was in awe of the hands-on training and knowledge that the CWRU MSA program instills in their students. This profession provides a great work-life balance while still being extremely rewarding and challenging. I am excited to start my journey in Washington, DC as a member of the Class of 2018!

Ki Lee

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I majored in biology at Virginia Tech while working full-time in the local pharmacy and the biochemistry labs. As a child of a first-generation immigrant family I was unaware of the diversity in career choices available in the healthcare field other than that of doctor, dentist, or pharmacist. It wasn't until I took a co-op semester at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital that I realized that there were other jobs that made just as many significant contributions. Among these was a CRNA. Despite the "politics" that CRNAs and CAAs have, it was actually a CRNA who inspired me to do more research and allowed me to discover a field that was perfect for me. After researching about CAAs I was given the opportunity to shadow them, and that is when I fell in love with the profession. Being a CAA means being part of a team in a dynamic environment that is challenging yet rewarding, and I cannot wait. I am honored to be here in Case Western Reserve's MSA program, and I have no doubt it will prepare me to provide the best care possible for my future patients.

Leah Matalon

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Having moved around constantly, I am no stranger to change. Needless to say, when it came time to choose a career, I was faced with a lot of indecision: there was so much I could do, but what was my true calling? Asking myself that very question was how I found the CAA profession. I recognized the strengths and attributes of CAAs that I also possessed, and felt a connection with the profession during my two months of shadowing. I applied to every school offering the CAA program, but my interview at CWRU sealed my fate. I was hooked. Rigorous and demanding, but led by the friendliest people with the utmost passion for the CAA profession, CWRU’s MSA program exceeded my expectations. I could not choose a better place to carry out my education.

Arin Miller

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I am proud to say that I was born and raised in Gainesville, FL, and graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in biology. My education path was slightly less traditional - I started out in college as an Art/Graphic Design major. It wasn’t until I had an experience, witnessing firsthand the fragility of life, that I developed an interest and passion for medicine and science. I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in cardiovascular technology, and began my career as a cardiovascular technologist, working in the cardiac cath lab. I soon realized that I wanted to go back to school to study medicine or pharmacy. Anesthesiology was always a field that peaked my interest; I loved the integration of pharmacology, physiology, and patient care. After talking with a friend who is an anesthesiologist, shadowing, and learning more about the CAA profession, I knew becoming a CAA is what I wanted to do. I chose CWRU’s MSA program in Washington DC because of its first-rate hospital, “hands-on” learning style, passionate students and faculty, and the opportunities to serve in medical missions. I am confident my time in this program will equip me to become an excellent anesthesia care provider and I look forward to becoming part of this exciting and expanding profession.

Abigail Moore

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I am a Colorado native but have been in Greenville, SC, for the past few years as I pursued my journey in the field of medicine. I received my BS in pre-med from Bob Jones University and then stayed to complete some post-baccalaureate research. During high school, I became interested in medicine, and as I furthered my education, that passion only grew deeper as did my love for science. Originally, the plan was to pursue medical school but my research mentor and colleague introduced me to the MSA program here at CWRU. After looking into the CAA profession and visiting with current students, I felt that this program was the ideal fit. I have always felt at home in the hospital setting and this profession allows me to take my love for science and use it to help people. This forward-focused program is teeming with possibilities and I look forward to all the opportunities the future holds.

Heather Plocinik

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For my undergraduate education, I attended a small liberal arts college named Washington College and received a BS in biology with a minor in chemistry. The summer before my senior year, I was supposed to apply to medical school. I had gone through the premedical committee at my school and they highly recommended that I apply; however, something was holding me back that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. I soon realized that I wanted more of a balance between science and patient care along with a work-life balance, so I began to search for a career that fit that criteria. That is when I stumbled upon the MSA program at Case Western Reserve University. I was sold by the coursework in physiology and pharmacology as well as the opportunity to have such a hands-on education experience. As I researched the program more, the faculty in DC were so incredibly welcoming and helpful that I knew I had to apply to this amazing program. I am extremely excited to start this rigorous yet rewarding program in the summer.

Jacob Schick

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Since first grade I have lived in my hometown of Columbus where I attended The Ohio State University. There, I earned a BS in psychology and neuroscience in 2013 and contributed to the Men’s Volleyball team’s continual success and 2011 National Championship. As a child I grew up with supraventricular tachycardia; that was until a successful cardiac ablation left a positive impression on me as a patient. I cleaned operating rooms during college and worked for bariatric surgeons studying post-operative tachycardia, enthralled that all the questions I had as a child were now being answered. After graduation, I traveled as a scout and statistician for USA Volleyball, only to return home, weathered by wanderlust after witnessing my sport from a competitive pinnacle. Moving forward, I was doubtful medical school was for me, but also unsure where I belonged in healthcare. I applied to every entry-level job in an OR I could find, confident still that surgery was a setting I could find a career in. Somehow I became the lone Anesthesia Technician at Nationwide Children’s Surgery Center—in the same cath labs that ablated my own heart. Under the direction of Dr. Richard Cartabuke, a CWRU CAA alumnus-turned-attending-anesthesiologist, and Ohio State’s first CAA, Nate Flath, I grew confident the professional path of an anesthetist was for me. I am thrilled to take on the responsibility that is providing perioperative care and to learn in such a cultured place as This Town.

Kyle Smay

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I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2015 where I received a BS in biology and chemistry. I was on track to go to medical school, but did not receive an offer. Some time after taking the MCAT I received an email from Case Western Reserve University MSA program that informed me about the Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant profession. After taking some time and consideration for my future I decided to apply to the program because of my interest in anesthesia. Shadowing in the OR confirmed my suspicion that this is the career for me. I am excited to be a part of the CWRU DC MSA class of 2018.

Joseph Surman

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I graduated from John Carroll University with a BS in biology. While there, I learned about Case Western Reserve University's CAA program in a Health Professions class. I had always been fascinated by medicine and anesthesiology so I arranged to shadow as soon as I could. The CAAs use of physiology and pharmacology to adapt to different patients and operations left a huge impression on me. CWRU's early and frequent use of clinical hours drew me to their program. I believe practical application of knowledge is key in developing talented students. I look forward to spending the next two years with CWRU and the many years after as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant.

Amanda Valdes

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I am from Tampa, Florida. I attended Florida State University where I earned my BS in exercise science. I have always been fascinated with physiology and the medical community in general. I am very passionate about the mission work I have done in the Dominican Republic. My interest in the field of anesthesiology was peaked when I had an eye-opening experience observing dental surgeries performed without access to anesthesia on one of those trips. I began shadowing anesthesiologists and CRNAs when I returned and finally came across the CAA profession. I am so excited to be on the path to such a rewarding and growing career, and I cannot wait to be part of the CWRU Master of Science in Anesthesia Program in DC!

Nicole Warburton

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As an undergraduate at the University of Miami my major was media writing and production (music composition for film/television/media). However, even before graduating, I decided that I actually wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. To that end, I spent two years doing pediatric radiology research, then another two years completing a post-baccalaureate program at Mills College. Since completing my post-baccalaureate program, I have been assisting in conducting research in Mongolia on the effects of pollution with an emphasis on its effects on fetal development. After hearing about the CAA profession and having the opportunity to shadow students in the Case Western Reserve program, I realized that this career was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do. I am very excited and honored to be a member of Case Western Reserve’s Master of Science in Anesthesia class of 2018.

Haley Woodward

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Ever since my high school anatomy class I knew that my future career would be in healthcare. I attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington and aligned my coursework to prepare myself for a career as a physician. By the time I graduated with my BS in biology and minor in chemistry, I felt as though my plan to become a physician wasn't aligning with what I wanted in life. With my desire to be in healthcare still strong, I began to explore other healthcare careers and came across the CAA profession. I could not be more thankful that I have found this career path because it was exactly what I desired in a healthcare career. I feel extremely fortunate to have come across this profession as well as Case Western Reserve University's MSA Program and can't wait to become a part of the growing CAA profession!